PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings

Fake employees, fake businesses, and lavish spending mar the COVID relief program.

Have you walked away from any PPP engagements?
PPP Practice Management Do’s and Don’ts:
Join the Survey. Get the Results.

By Sandi Leyva

With fast money comes fast fraud, and the arrests and jail terms are only just beginning for individuals who applied for PPP money under false pretenses and have already been caught. You’ve seen the headlines, where people from every walk of life including reality TV stars, rappers, a Wal-Mart manager, and even an NFL player have been arrested on charges of PPP loan fraud.

Bradley Burnett: Bracing for more audits.
Join the Next Webinar: PPP Loan Forgiveness – Choosing the Right Covered Period and Filling Out the Form: Cases, and Examples, with Bradley Burnett. Friday, Oct. 2, 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. 3 hours, 3 CPE.
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PPP fraud has likely already impacted your firm. The extent of the fraud is the real story.

One thing is fairly predictable: “Audits will pick up,” says Bradley Burnett, tax attorney and instructor of the PPP Forgiveness webinars being conducted by Accountant’s Accelerator and CPA Trendlines.

According to respondents of an ongoing survey being conducted by CPA Trendlines and Accountant’s Accelerator, preliminary results show that just over 1 out of every five accounting professionals offering PPP services (22 percent) has had to walk away from at least one PPP engagement.  And one firm has had to walk away from more than five PPP engagements.

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Don’t Get Burned by These PPP Pitfalls

Three ways to get it wrong and only have one chance to get it right.


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By Stephen Nelson

Over the last few months, I’ve answered hundreds of questions about PPP loans. And I’ve written a short e-book, “Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness” for the accountants who will help small businesses with their forgiveness applications.

Stephen Nelson’s new e-book Maximizing PP Loan Forgiveness is available through CPA Trendlines directly from his website for instant download. |  More from Stephen L. Nelson

Learn more here: New e-Book: ‘Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness

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And, here’s an insight from all this frenzied PPP activity: Big surprises await many borrowers.

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The Coming Boom in Tax Services for the Super-Rich

Money tree growing in the middle of green meadowHow to get their business.

By Anthony Glomski and Russ Alan Prince
Your $5-Million High-Net-Worth Practice

Tax planning is in very high demand by the wealthy, growing exponentially in importance as you move up the wealth hierarchy.

MORE: The Seven Simple Steps to Thrive in the COVID Crisis | The Three New Business Models Delivering Significant Profits for Accounting Firms | 5 Meetings of the (True) Wealth Management Process | Collaborative Wealth Management: Defining the Framework | Protect Your Clients’ Assets | Even Entrepreneurs Must Diversify | When Clients Cash Out: Four Smart Financial Moves
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For a large percentage of the super-rich (net worth of $500 million or more) with various private company interests, astute tax planning is the most valuable expertise far exceeding other services such as investment management.

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Busy Season Benchmarks in Free Fall

Major declines in all KPIs: Clients, revenues, profits, revenue per client, and profit per client.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Last year’s busy season was complicated, no doubt about it. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the IRS shut-down made life difficult for tax practitioners. But ultimately, they had a good year. A good 56 percent enjoyed an increase in clientele, and only 16 percent saw a decrease.

Flash forward to the annus horribilis, aka 2020. According to this year’s CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, only 46 percent of accountants are gaining clients — a 10-point reversal from last year. And another 25 percent are losing clients – a 15-point swing from 2019.

MORE BUSY SEASON 2020: FIinal RS eFiling Stats: The End of Tax Season? | Say Hello to the New 24-Month Busy Season | 9 Big Ways the IRS Could Help Accountants | The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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It’s impressive that so many tax offices have actually expanded their clientele during such hard times. And it’s not surprising that so many have lost clients.

What happened?

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Say Hello to the New 24-Month Busy Season

Deann Auman Hill and Mike Shost at AICPA Engage: “The 24-Month Tax Season?”

COVID chaos turns Busy Season 2020 from bad to worse.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Last year—the good old days!—Busy Season seemed to be about as bad as it could get. Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act without explaining how it was to be enacted, and then changed some things. And then the IRS shut down before the rules could be set and the new forms and schedules made available. And all of a sudden it was April 15.

MORE on the 2020 SEASON: The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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Tax practitioners had little good to say about 2019. According to last year’s CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, 46 percent said 2019 was worse than the previous year. Only 13 percent thought it was “much better.”

That was then.

This is now. And, now is worse.

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9 Big Ways the IRS Could Help Accountants

Number 9 created by gaps between many small green plastic 9'sDeadlines could change. So could options.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The Taxpayer Advocacy Service’s mission is to make life easier for taxpayers, but when it succeeds, it alleviates the burden on tax practitioners as well.

MORE: Flexibility in a Time of Pandemic | What Are IRS FAQs Worth? | The Top Six IRS #FAILS this Tax Season (So Far)
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With that mission in mind, the TAS has set itself a serious series of nine objectives for fiscal year 2021. Each one touches on the services of CPAs and tax practitioners, so it’s worthwhile to follow how successful the TAS is.
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What Are IRS FAQs Worth?

Not enough, says National Tax Advocate.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The COVID-19 crisis hit the Internal Revenue Service pretty hard.

  • Employees were sent home to quarantine.
  • Entire operations were shut down.
  • Most taxpayer-to-agent communication was impossible.
  • Taxpayer Assistance Centers were shuttered.

MORE: The Top Six IRS #FAILS this Tax Season (So Far)
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Complicating matters, Congress passed a number of initiatives that the IRS had to execute even as it was stripped down to the skeleton crew:
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PPP Forgiveness: What We Thought We Knew Is Now All Wrong


Live 2.5-hour Webinar:  Paycheck Protection Program – Should We “Spend Out” Within the 24 (or 8) Week Period? Pushing Out New Forgiveness Form 3508 and Being Done.
With Bradley Burnett

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
2.5 hours, 2.5 CPE
Register Now for $89 | Learn More
until July 7 Midnight ET then $109

 

Friday, July 17, 2020
Noon ET / 9 a.m. PT
2.5 hours, 2.5 CPE
Register Now for $89 | Learn more
until July 15 Midnight ET then $109